When she’s better than you

Categorized as  comparison game,  discouragement,  jealousy,  pride,  talents, comparing

I’m talking about that awful Comparison Game.  Not having enough time, space, or wisdom to dissect the whole kaboodle and analyze from whence it springs, I do know this – its fruit is ghastly, and inevitably, one of two things happens.  Either I feel inferior or I feel superior, neither of which is good.

I confessed it here a few days ago, how I’d found her blog, looked at her work, and immediately done the one thing I ought not.  I’d compared hers to mine, mine to hers, and had come up small.

Just that quick, jealousy had come knocking, then discouragement, discontentment, and a vague sense of failure.  Then, the ride to the coffee shop and that holy whisper (“embrace the smallness, embrace the stillness”) bringing some relief.

Comparisons.  My work.  Their work.  Where I’m at. Where they’re at.  Numbers.  Stats.  Comments.  Hits. All of it rolling around and around, bringing unrest.

In trying to navigate safely through this minefield, there are a few things I’ve come to realize that have helped  a lot.

1.  First, I know that God has a plan for me.  As I was wrestling with this again, thinking of another’s obvious talent and success, this is what The Wonderful Counselor said, “What is that to thee?  Follow thou me.”  So gently did He say it, that I felt no sting; only a refocus, a redirection of my gaze to His face.

2.  I must realize that He has a plan for her (or him or them), and His plans for us are not the same.  Often, as I’m plowing through this stuff, I will feel the urge to pray blessing over whoever-it-is and their work. This, I think, is a powerful tool for fighting this temptation.  (Note:  Why do we think that another’s success leaves less opportunity for us, as though there’s only so much to go around? Nuh-uh.  Not in God’s economy.)

3.  Thirdly, it’s true.  I’m not her (or him or them).  I can’t possibly be.  I’m not intended to be.  But…

4.  But she’s not me, either.  She (or he or they) have something special and wonderful to bring to the world.  And so do I (and you and you).  Faithfully using our individual talents and abilities and opportunities, we work together and get God’s work done.

Now, that’s something to celebrate!  That’s something to shout about.  Together, working.  Together, praying.  Together, changing the world.

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